Structure and Function of Nerves in Cats

Below is information about the structure and function of feline nerves. We will tell you about the general structure and function of how nerves work in cats, common diseases that affect nerves, and common diagnostic tests performed in cats to evaluate the nerves.

What Are Nerves?

Nerves are bundles of fibers made up of specialized cells that send and receive information to and from the brain. Your cat’s muscles, stomach, and even heart would not function if a nerve did not relay instructions from the brain. Nerves can be sensory (relay information on sensations), motor (cause activation of muscles) or mixed (both sensory and motor). Together, the nerves of the body make up the peripheral nervous system.

Where Are Nerves Located?

Most nerves extend from the brain or spinal cord to carry information to the muscles and organs. Twelve pairs of major nerves in the head arise from the brain and emerge through holes in the skull to reach their target areas such as the muzzle, eyeball, teeth and tongue. These nerves of the head are called cranial nerves. Nerves to the rest of the body arise in pairs from the spinal cord and exit from the vertebral column through spaces between the vertebrae and are called peripheral nerves.

What Is the General Structure of a Cat’s Nerve?

The basic unit of the nervous system is the neuron, which is a highly specialized cell. Neurons have two characteristic properties. The first is irritability, which means that they are capable of responding to stimulation. The second is conductivity, which means they are able to conduct impulses. A neuron consists of the following parts:

What Are the Functions of Feline Nerves?

Depending on their function, nerves are classified as sensory, motor or mixed. Sensory, or afferent nerves carry information from the periphery of the body to the brain and spinal cord. Motor nerves or efferent nerves transmit impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the periphery. Mixed nerves are composed of both motor and sensory fibers and transmit messages in both directions.

What Are the Common Disease of Nerves in Cats?

What Types of Diagnostic Tests Are Used to Evaluate Nerves in Cats?